Community rallies around vulnerable after lead drug trafficker charged
We have been working hard to address the drug-related crime and violence that has occurred throughout our city since it began to increase in 2015. Our goal has always been to identify and hold to account, those who prey on vulnerable Calgarians, and to not criminalize addiction.
Over the past year, the District 1 General Investigations Unit (GIU) identified what they believe is a network of individuals, known as ‘The Family.’ More than 500 people are believed to be involved or connected to ‘The Family’s’ drug distribution network as either sellers or buyers. Over the course of the last 18 months, more than 80 violent incidents are believed to be connected to ‘The Family.’ The group is comprised of individuals with addictions and other vulnerabilities, who are primarily homeless and mostly reside in and around the downtown area.
After a complex six-month investigation, search warrants were executed on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, on two vehicles and four homes located in the 0-100 block Lake Sylvan Close S.E., the 500 block of Eighth Street N.E., the 1100 block of Eighth Avenue N.E., and the 1700 block of 26th Avenue S.W. As a result, the following items were seized:
- 1,006 grams of methamphetamine
- 232 grams of fentanyl
- 233 grams of crack cocaine
- 282 grams of powder cocaine
- 630 grams of GHB
- $34,791 in cash
- drug trafficking paraphernalia such as scales
- weapons – crossbows, knives and bear spray
Lawrence Chukwka ORUBOR, 52, of Calgary, who police allege is the leader of “The Family,” has been charged with instructing drug trafficking and violent offences for a criminal organization, as well as other related charges. He will next appear in court today, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020.
Simultaneously with the execution of the search warrants, teams of officers and community partners deployed into the downtown core to seek out those who police believe were involved with ‘The Family.’ Eleven people believed to be connected to the distribution of the drugs with outstanding warrants were taken into custody to deal with their current matters before the courts, before being connected with support services.
The Calgary Police Service Diversity Resource Team paired up with the Bear Clan Patrol to offer support and resources to more than 100 vulnerable persons in the downtown area. The Elbow River Healing Lodge, the Friendship Centre, the SORCe and Be The Change YYC, were engaged to offer immediate resources and support for the days to come.
Photos from the community engagement aspect of this operation are available on The City of Calgary Newsroom.
“This operation sought to address the ongoing drug-related crime and violence throughout the downtown core and we believe we have been able to make a significant impact in addressing these issues. Although the amount of drugs seized does not appear record-breaking, we believe a large volume of drugs were distributed in small quantities across this vast network, never staying in one place for long,” says District 1 GIU Staff Sgt. Jodi Gach. “It was equally important that we worked with our community partners to ensure vulnerable people connected to this organization had support and access to services.”
If you, a friend or a family member are struggling with addiction or need access to basic necessities such as a bed to sleep in, food or a shower, please contact any one of our community partners listed below. The Calgary Police Service would like to thank all of our community partners for their ongoing support and efforts to reduce vulnerability and victimization.
- Safe Communities, Opportunities & Resource Centre (SORCe)
- Alpha House & the Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership (DOAP Team)
- Calgary Drop-In Centre
- Mustard Seed
- The Bear Clan Patrol Calgary